Since its introduction in June 2015, Ethereum has gained momentum as one of the most versatile blockchain technologies out there. It is often compared to Bitcoin, mostly because the two are the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, and both run on blockchain technology. Ethereum, however, might be considered superior to other cryptocurrencies when it comes to online betting due to its use of the smart contracts concept. The smart contracts facilitate creation of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) which have shown a lot of potential in disrupting online betting by eliminating the need for trust between online casinos and punters.
In addition to the EVM, Ethereum stocks together all the benefits of Bitcoin such as pseudo-anonymity, faster deposits, affordability, and security.
What Is Ethereum?
Ethereum can be said to be two things. First, it is a form of cryptocurrency or digital money, usually abbreviated as ‘ether’ or ‘ETH’. Ethereum can be traded online, just like any other cryptocurrencies such as the Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, Namecoin to name but a few. Second, it is also used inside the Ethereum network to run applications and pay for them.
Why Is Ethereum Betting Gaining Popularity?
Ethereum seems to be taking the gambling industry by storm. According to research done by Dapp.com, of the 244 apps released in the Ethereum network in the third quarter of 2018, 110 were related to the betting industry. Why is Ethereum betting becoming so popular?
- Security– the Ethereum network offers a lot more security because it runs on blockchain technology. In blockchain technology, each transaction is stored in a public ledger, using a unique code. It would be impossible for someone to change one transaction as they would need to change the next one and so forth, making it virtually impossible for someone to tamper with the system.
- Privacy– when registering in an Ethereum betting site you are not required to divulge any personal information in order to sing up. This is quite different from traditional casinos that use fiat currencies where by nature of the laws, they must request you to provider personal information such as full names, address, and verification in form of ID etc. In fact, in most Ethereum betting sites, all you are required to do is link your cryptocurrency wallet and you are ready to play. This means that nobody will know that you are gambling online, unless you tell them. It also means that cyber criminals can’t access your sensitive bank and personal information, because you never shared it online. Ethereum online casinos only require you to link your wallet to deposit and start playing.
- Guaranteed Fairness– casinos that use Ethereum rely on blockchain technology to store data. This means that they do not keep their data in a central server somewhere that could be easily hacked or manipulated. Because of smart contracts technology, games are provably fair (can be verified using an algorithm) and there is no chance of results being tampered with. EVM and the capacity to code almost anything on them, allows for explosion of new casino games that are more transparent.
- Fast Payouts and Reduced Fees- in Ether betting, you transact directly from your ether wallet to the casino and receive your winnings into your account, effectively cutting out the middleman and saving on transaction fees. This also cuts down on the waiting time as payments are swift, sometimes even instant. A new trend in casinos is to offer 0% percent house edge, which is definitely good news for the players.
- No Taxes or Government Interference- because Ethereum is a decentralized platform, it is not controlled by any entity- your government cannot impose taxes on your Ethereum betting winnings, freeze your account or interfere in any way.
- No Country Restriction- the ether network is not owned or controlled by any government, and as such is not subject to laws restricting gambling. As long as you have an internet connection you can bet from anywhere.
Are there disadvantages to Ethereum betting?
Fewer Options– Perhaps one of the biggest downsides of ether betting is that it is still a relatively new technology. So, casinos that have adopted it are few. This is unlike its counterpart the Bitcoin, that is well-established and supported by multiple betting sites.
Can be lost if mishandled– Handling cryptocurrency requires utmost care. Ether sent to a wrong address for example cannot be retrieved. Because the ether network is decentralized and independent of any authority, losing your ether means that you would have no one to complain to for recourse.
Fluctuations– Finally, cryptocurrency is susceptible to fluctuations- and largely variant ones. Your ether might be worth one thing today, and a fraction of it tomorrow.
Characteristics of Ethereum Sites that don’t suck
As the Ethereum continues to gain traction and more gambling sites get onboard, you might be confused as to which sites to join. Here are some factors that you should consider before settling on a betting site:
- Reputation– Before you create an account with an online betting site, do some research and make sure it lives up to its promise. Check online reviews and gambling forums and see what past punters feel about the casino. If a website has been blacklisted or has lot of negative reviews, avoid it. The best Ethereum betting sites thrive on treating their players well, giving them bonuses, VIP treatments, weekly bonuses and promotions and more.
- License- Having a proper license is the first sign of a legit Ethereum site. For example, for UK players, only play in Ethereum online casinos that have been fully licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. Also, check whether the games have been audited and certified fair and random by third party auditing firms such as eCogra. Ethereum casinos with affiliation to organizations that promote responsible gambling practices such as GamCare are the best.
- Different Betting Options– Your desire to bet online is not confined to casino games only. Today you might be interested in horseracing, another day in football or in Formular 1. Make sure the bitcoin or Ether casino you are considering is stocked with a vast variety of casino games including slots, table games, video poker, live casino games, scratch card games, jackpot games, online bingo games, instant win games and more.
- Mobile Gambling- Technology has come a long way and revolutionized the way we do things. It is no longer necessary to be tied down to a computer in order to get things done, and this is true for gambling as well. Before joining a site check whether it offers the option of betting on your phone or tablet. The best ethereum casinos also support pay by phone options such as Boku, Payforit and more.
- Tech Support- Betting online relies on technology, and sometimes technology fails. A site that offers little or no support can be frustrating. Make sure that the casino has an extensive FAQ which should be your first port of call for all matters related to the casino, 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support. We truly love Ethereum betting sites that offers customer support through WhatsApp.
- Bonus Structure- Most sites offer a welcome bonus to new clients upon signing up. Besides the amount of the bonus, read the terms and conditions to make sure they are reasonable. Watering requirements, bonus validity, contribution of different games towards the wagering requirement, are all important factors that you should consider. Read the complete terms and conditions carefully, the devil is always in the details.
- Accepts Ethereum- Sounds obvious, but this should be the first thing you check. Presence of eWallets such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, bank transfer, wire transfer, debit and credit card is also a plus. Most Ethereum casinos also accept Bitcoin payments.
What do I need to Start Ethereum Betting?
The first thing you need to do is to get an ether wallet, which is where you will store your ether. An ether wallet is, however, not physical, but a software that allows you to store and receive ether. Each wallet has a public address, which is what someone uses if they want to send ether to you. Your wallet also stores a private key which is a password you use to complete transactions and access any ether sent to you. Then, load your wallet by purchasing Ethereum from verified vendors.
What to consider when choosing a wallet
There are different types of wallets, each with different characteristics. The most important thing to consider when choosing a wallet is security. You want a wallet that is easy to use, but one that cannot be easily hacked.
If you deal with more than one type of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, opt for a wallet that offer supports multiple currencies. Another important factor to consider is device compatibility. Some wallets can only be used from the device on which they are saved, e.g. a desktop computer. If you like playing your favorite Ethereum casino games while on the go, choose a wallet that is compatible with several devices such as your mobile phone or tablet. If you get overwhelmed and are not quite sure about a wallet, reading online reviews is always a good place to start.
General information on Ethereum wallets
There are different types of wallets each with different capabilities. You can opt for a third party wallet such as those offered by exchanges, but you will not be in control of your keys and by extension, your funds.
You can also opt to create your own wallet to gai control of your keys and funds. If you decided to create a personal wallet, you will have various options. There are hot and cold wallets. A hot wallet is one that stores your keys online, ensuring that you are connected from anywhere in the world. A cold wallet stores your keys offline and only connects when you want. This offers more security.
Specific types of wallets are:
Paper wallets- paper wallets offer excellent security. A paper wallet is literally a paper with your keys which means it is not stored on the computer or online.
Desktop wallets- this type of wallet is run or stored on your computer. A desktop wallet can only be used from the one computer on which it is downloaded. The biggest downside of a desktop wallet is that you can lose your funds if it gets stolen or if it crashes.
Web wallets- this wallet is stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. They are most likely offered by third party with keys stored online, which makes them susceptible to hacking attacks.
Hardware wallets- Hardware wallets are stored in a portable disk which means that they are not stored online, and are connected to a computer when you want to make a transaction. Hardware wallets are probably the safest of the lot.
I have an ether wallet, what next?
After you get an ether wallet the next step is to buy some coins which you can do from currency exchanges online, Ethereum ATMs, mining- which is complex and requires excellent technological knowhow or buying directly from someone who has ether.
Then, visit your favorite Ethereum casino, register by following the prompts on the site, and deposit the funds. You are now ready for Ethereum betting!
The future of Ethereum Betting
The advent of Ethereum has brought a revolution to gambling with numerous advantages to the players. Taking advantage of blockchain technology and the concept of smart contracts Ethereum betting offers more security, anonymity and better returns. Given that the technology is improving every day it can be said that the future of Ethereum betting is bright, and more than anyone, the players will reap the biggest benefits. Read our full 2019 guide to Ethereum Gambling and find out which are the best casinos today.